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Health Highlights: March 31, 2017

Last Updated: March 31, 2017.

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:

U.S. Begins Second Phase of Zika Vaccine Trial

U.S. health officials have begun the next phase of a trial of an experimental vaccine to protect against Zika virus, which is most often spread by the bite of mosquitoes and can pose the risk of devastating birth defects for pregnant women.

The first volunteer was vaccinated Wednesday at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. Researchers from the National Institutes of Health hope to include a minimum of 2,400 people in the trial. They would come from Florida, Texas, Puerto Rico and five at-risk countries: Brazil, Mexico, Panama, Costa Rica and Peru, the Associated Press reported.

This second phase of the trial is designed to see if the vaccine protects against the virus. The first phase found that the vaccine passed preliminary safety tests, the news service said.

The Zika epidemic has been largely confined to Latin America and the Caribbean. Most infections in the United States were reported by people who had traveled to Zika hot spots, although mosquitoes spread the virus in parts of southern Florida and Texas last year.

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Banned Kinder Easter Eggs Available in NYC

A popular toy-filled chocolate egg that's banned in the United States is still widely available in New York City.

Kinder eggs were banned in the U.S. years ago because the tiny plastic trinkets inside pose a choking hazard for young children. However, the eggs are legal in Canada, CBS News reported.

There is an online petition asking for the U.S. ban to be lifted, but some doctors say Kinder eggs are dangerous.

"Any food product given to a child with a small toy inside would cause a choking hazard," Dr. Brahim Ardolic, chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine at Staten Island University Hospital, told CBS News.

"Children can and do choke on small items like beads, small balls or small toys often," he said, noting that infants and toddlers often put objects in their mouth because it's one way they explore their surroundings.

"This is especially true of things inside of sweets. It's just a bad idea to have these around small children," Ardolic said.

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LaBri's Body Health Atomic Weight Loss Product Recalled

LaBri's Body Health Atomic weight loss dietary supplement is being recalled because it contains the undeclared ingredient sibutramine.

Sibutramine, which was taken off the market in 2010 for safety reasons, can significantly increase blood pressure and/or pulse rate in some people and may pose a serious risk to people with a history of heart disease, heart failure, heart rhythm disorders or stroke.

Sibutramine may also cause life-threatening interactions with other medications.

Product distributor Envy Me has not received any reports of illnesses linked with the recalled product, but one incident has been reported to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The recall covers all lot codes, manufacturing codes and expiration dates of LaBri's Body Health Atomic sold in 60 capsule, plastic bottles. Consumers should throw the product away or return it for a refund or replacement.

For more information, contact Envy Me at 361-658-0141.

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More Than 300 Million People Worldwide Have Depression: WHO

Depression affects more than 300 million people worldwide and is the leading cause of poor health and disability, according to the World Health Organization.

The number of people with depression rose more than 18 percent between 2005 and 2015, but lack of support and fear of stigma prevent many people from receiving treatment.

"These new figures are a wake-up call for all countries to re-think their approaches to mental health and to treat it with the urgency that it deserves," WHO Director-General Dr. Margaret Chan said in an agency news release.

The WHO's year-long campaign called "Depression: let's talk" seeks to boost the number of people with depression who seek and get help. One of the main ways to do that is to reduce prejudice and discrimination around the mental illness.

"The continuing stigma associated with mental illness was the reason why we decided to name our campaign Depression: let's talk," Dr. Shekhar Saxena, director of WHO's Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse, said in the news release.

"For someone living with depression, talking to a person they trust is often the first step towards treatment and recovery," Saxena said.

Another crucial step is to increase spending on mental health. Many countries offer little or no support for people with mental health conditions. On average, only 3 percent of government health budgets is invested in mental health, ranging from less than 1 percent in low-income countries to 5 percent in high-income countries, according to the WHO.

Even in rich nations, nearly 50 percent of people with depression do not get treatment.


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